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speaks of a town in Troas, a part of Phrygia, called Cimmeris. It is no wonder, therefore, if we find the name of Gomerites, Cimmerians, or Cimbrians, common to the descendants of Gomer's three sons, Ashkenaz, Rephath, and Togarmah,—the ancestors of the Tuscan, the Gothic, and the Celtic races, respectively.
“ Thus,” continues Dr. Wells, “ the colony of the Cimmerii increasing in process of time, and so spreading themselves still by new colonies further westward, came along the Danube, and settled themselves in the country which, from them, has been called Germany. For as to the testimony of the ancients, Diodorus Siculus affirms that the Germans had their origin from the Cimmerians ; and the Jews to this day called them Ashkanazim, or descendants of Ashkenaz, son of Gomer. Indeed, they themselves retain plain marks of their descent, both in the name Cimbri, and also in their common name Germans,—that is, Gomeræans.
The other name, Cimbri, is easily formed from Cimmerii ; and by that name the inhabitants of the north-west peninsula of Old Germany, now-adays called Jutland, were known, not only to ancient, but later writers; and from this name of the inhabitants, the said peninsula is called Cimbrica Chersonesus, and that frequently in modern authors.
“Out of Germany,” continues Wells, “the descendants of Gomer spread themselves into Gaul, or France. To prove this, Camden quotes the testimony of Josephus, where he says that those called by the Greeks Galatæ, were originally called Gomerites. Which words may be understood either of the Asiatic Galatæ, commonly called by us Galatians, or the European Galatæ, commonly called by us Gauls, Galti or Celti. There are testimonies to the same effect from other writers. Thus Appian, in his Ilyrics, says expressly that the Celtæ or Gauls were otherwise called Cimbri. Again, Lucan calls that ruffian who was hired to kill Marius, a Cimbrian,—whereas Livy and others affirm him to have been a Gaul, and by Plutarch the Cimbri are termed Gallo-Scythians.
“I have produced these testimonies from Camden,” says Dr. Wells, in conclusion, “in order to make it plain that the ancient inhabitants of our island were also Gomerites, Cimmerians, Cimbrians, or descendants of Gomer. For it is not to be questioned but that this isle was first peopled from those countries of the European continent which lie next to it, and consequently from Germany or Gaul. Indeed, to me there seems to be no need of adding any other evidence that the Britons were descended originally from Gomer, than the very name whereby their offspring the Welsh call themselves to this very day,—to wit, Kumero, or Cymro: in like manner, they call a Welsh woman kumeraes, and their language kumeraeg. It likewise follows that our Angles, who succeeded the old Britons in this part of the isle, were likewise Gomerites, or Cimbrians.”
Now, we believe that Gomer the son of Japheth, according to the biblical record, was represented in the language of Grecian literature by Atlas the son of Japetus and Asia, As this supposition is of great importance to our argument, we must strengthen it by a few authorities. As Gomer, in Hebrew, signified expansion, so does the name Atlas, which is derived from a Syrian word signifying space, or the expansive principle, which, with the greatest energy, developes and supports all things, struggling against all opposition. “Thus,” says Pluché, “the word Atlas is derived from the Phænician atlah, to strive with great fatigues and labours.” Thence comes the aOXos of the Greeks, which signifies great difficulties, hard combats. It may likewise be derived from atlah, a support, whence the Greek Ernn, a column; or ranu, to sustain.
Thus was the signification of the name Atlas, like that of Gomer, symbolical of space. Hence the word Atlas and space are mythologically the same; and the fables relating to the one will be found to relate to the other. Hence the term Atlanlic, or Atlantean, was applied to whatever was very spacious or vast, as Mount Atlas, the Atlantic Ocean, &c.
In the present enquiry, however, we have not so much to treat of the mythological attributes of Atlas, as to develope the analogies that subsist between the history of Gomer and his descendants, and the history of Atlas and his descendants. The more we examine these, the more shall we be convinced that the race of the Gomerites, Cimmerians or Cimbrians, are identically the same people as the Atlantes, Atlantians, or descendants of Atlas.
Atlas is fabled by the ancient Pagans to have been the great patriarch and king of western Europe. His empire, they tell us, reached to the utmost regions of the west, and to that sea where the horses of the sun, wearied with their daily course, refresh themselves. A thousand flocks fed in his wide extended plains, and all acknowledged him for their lord. He had many children: the most famous was Hesperus, who reigned sometime in Italy, which was from him called Hesperia. He had likewise several daughters, called Hesperides, who were in possession of the extreme islands of the west, which were guarded by a great dragon (the Atlantic Ocean). These blessed islands of the Hesperides possessed a delicious climate, and were filled with golden fruits of the most delectable relish.
Such are some of the reasons that induce us to believe that the history of the Gomerites or Cimbrians is represented by that of the Atlantides or Atlantians, who, as Plato informs us, possessed some part of Asia, and the whole of western Europe.
Now, the few records of primeval history which have come down to us, indicate that the Cimbrians or Atlantians were a very enterprising race, and that they cultivated navigation to a great extent in the earliest times. We have several historical fragments to show that the Noachidæ in general cultivated the science of ship-building, and the laws of navigation, with great ardour, during the settlement of nations after the flood. The experience which enabled them to construct the ark could not have been suddenly renounced. Many authors, as Kircher, Vandale, and Campanella, have supposed that the Noachidæ were acquainted with the use of the compass. At any rate, the construction of large vessels must have been an art not neglected, when the different tribes of men had to repair to their respective apportionments of the globe, many of which would seem to have been insular for ages after the deluge.
Much illustration of this theory may be found among the commentators on the Argonautica. The adventurous generals of primitive Greece were not the only men that built large ships fitted out for voyages of discovery. They were not the only men whom the “auri sacra fames” urged to undertake naval expeditions in search of the Golden Fleece, or commercial wealth. We shall see anon that our friends the Cimbrians or Atlantians of western Europe were still bolder explorers both by sea and land.
To resume the Greek memorials. We are informed that Perseus and Hercules (the mythological representatives of Grecian discovery) both visited Atlas and the regions of the Atlantians, in hope to get possession of the Atlantic islands, inhabited, as they were, by the descendants of Atlas, entitled the Hesperides. By the aid of Atlas, whose name they extended to the vast mountains of Africa, they appear to have been enabled to reach the Atlantis, which originally comprehended all the island territories of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, in modern times, the single word Australia includes the huge cluster of islands in the Pacific hemisphere. Even so we imagine the ancient island of Atlantis, so celebrated by Plato, signified the whole island territory of the Atlantians or Cimbrians, comprising Great Britain, Madeira, the Canaries, the Azores, Cape Verd, and last, not least, the north and south Americas.
The discovery of the western portion of Atlantis, or the Atlantic islands, which Hercules made by the aid of Atlas (that is, the race of Atlas), is most clearly specified by the ancient writers, and needs no explanation. We would only quote the words of Lempriere respecting the Atlantides or Hesperides, the Insulæ Fortunatæ and Beatæ, those happy islands of the Atlantic, which Homer has honoured by the epithet, “ Insulæ Elysiæ, Campi Elysii,” or Elysian Fields.
“ The island of the Atlantides or Hesperides," says Lempriere, “ lay beyond Mount Atlas in Africa. This celebrated island contained gardens abounding with fruits of the most delicious kind, and was carefully guarded by a dreadful dragon (the great deep) which never slept. It was one of the labours of Hercules to procure some of the golden apples of the Hesperides. The hero, ignorant of the situation of this celebrated garden, applied to the nymphs in the neighbourhood of the Po for information, and was told, that Nereus, the god of the sea, if properly managed, would direct him in his pursuit. Hercules seized Nereus (the sea) while he was asleep; and the sea-god, unable to escape from his grasp, answered all the questions which he proposed. When Hercules came into Africa, he repaired to Atlas and demanded of him three of the golden apples. Atlas unloaded himself, and placed the burthen of the heavens on the shoulders of Hercules, while he (Atlas, or the race of Atlas), went in quest of the apples (of the Atlantic islands). At his return, Hercules expressed his wish to ease the burthen by putting something on his head: and when Atlas assisted him to remove his inconvenience, Hercules artfully left the burden, and seized the apples, which Atlas had thrown on the ground.”
According to other accounts, Hercules gathered the apples himself, without the assistance of Atlas, having previously killed the watchful dragon which kept the tree. These apples were brought to Eurystheus, and afterwards carried back by Minerva into the garden of the Hesperides, as they could be preserved in no other place. Hercules is sometimes represented as gathering the apples, and the dragon which guarded the tree appears bowing down his head, as having received a a mortal wound. The monster is supposed to be the offspring of Typhon (the abyss of waters), and it had a hundred heads, and as many voices. The meaning of this fable is too clear to need exposition. It evidently refers to a certain competition between the Iaones or Greeks, and the Gomerians or Atlantians, for the possession of the produce, or golden fruit, of the Atlantic islands: whether we understand that fruit to have been metallic bullion, or, as many have supposed, oranges, pomegranates, &c.
It is highly probable that these Atlantic islands, or the western portion of Atlantis, which Plato describes as lying beyond the Pillars of Hercules or Straits of Gibraltar, were, in primitive times, of very great magnitude, and occupied much of the intermediate space between Europe and America. Many modern savans, who have examined the character of the Azores, the Canaries, &c., have confirmed this opinion. In this case, they would naturally have attracted the great admiration of the ancient world, and have facilitated the navigation of the Atlantians, or Atlantes, to north and south America, forming the main body of that grand island Atlantis, which, Plato informs us, was as large as Asia and Europe together.
Such was probably the condition of things when the Grecian deluges of Ogyges and Deucalion, occasioned, perhaps, by the elevation of volcanic islands and the overflow of the Euxine, took place. This vast inundation, which overwhelmed so large a portion of Attica, rushed along the Mediterranean, and bursting through the Columns of Hercules, overflowed large tracts of the Atlantic islands. From hence we may probably trace the tradition, that the whole island Atlantis was swallowed up in a sudden deluge.
By way of confirming this general theory, we shall quote a few words from Müller's Universal History. “ It was the opinion of Pallas,” says this learned writer, “ that the Euxine and Caspian seas, as well as the lake Aral and several others, are the remains of an extensive sea which covered a great part of the north of Asia.” It has been conjectured that the opening of the Bosphorus was the occasion of the draining of this ocean in the midst of Asia and Europe. The memory of this disruption of the two continents was preserved in the traditions of Greece. It appears that this catastrophe was produced by the operation of volcanoes, the fires of which were still burning in the era of the Argonautic voyage. In consequence, the level of the Mediterranean and Atlantic was for a time greatly changed. The ancient navigators complained that a number of shallows infested the regions of the Atlantic ocean; and there is probably some geographical foundation for this remark. We know that Plato, on the authority of ancient traditions which he obtained from the priests of Lais in Egypt, makes mention of a country situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which, during a tempestuous night, sank in the deer. The same author notices also a country beyond the Atlantic ocean, and a number of islands which lie near its coast. Moreover, the